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The AUT University Public Lecture Series, includes professorial addresses and serves as a public platform for introducing new professors to university colleagues and to the wider community interested in their field. In the one-hour lecture, professors take their audience on a journey related to their research interests, their career to date, and the future as they see it. The AUT Public Lecture Series is accessible to a wide audience and well attended by AUT staff and visitors to the campus and we welcome you to attend.



Tuesday 15 April 2014

Life, the Universe and Everything

Professor Steve Pointing
Professor of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences

In his inaugural professorial address, Professor Pointing will discuss evolution in the broadest possible context:  where did we come from? Are we alone? Where are we going?

Professor Pointing will discuss our origins in the context of the ‘Habitable Zone’ concept for planetary systems, which considers life as a property of the universe that transcends the boundaries by which humanity currently divides itself.  He will explore what the future holds for life on Earth, and how a paradigm shift in how we view ourselves is required for humanity to persist as a species.

Professor Pointing grew up by the sea in rural England where he developed a fascination with the natural world.  He gained degrees in biochemistry and microbiology, followed by doctoral research in marine microbiology.  He was awarded the prestigious Sainsbury Scholarship to pursue marine research in Bermuda, followed by postdoctoral research in Hong Kong and Thailand.  During these travels, encounters with life that survives in extreme environments led to an interest in the field of astrobiology.  This developed into a research partnership with the US space agency NASA.  In addition to authoring key publications in this area, Professor Pointing has also been very active in communicating and popularising astrobiology in the media. He and his family moved to New Zealand in 2013, and his current research continues the astrobiology theme with research on the ecology of Antarctica’s Dry Valleys. 

More Information

RSVP and Venue Details

4.30pm - 5.30pm
WA Building Conference Centre
City Campus
Level 2, WA Building
55 Wellesley Street East

Refreshments will be served after the address

Please RSVP to:


Tuesday 6 May 2014
Professor Bart Frijns
Professor of Finance, Faculty of Business and Law

Tuesday 3 June 2014
Professor Judy McGregor
Professor and Head of the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy

Tuesday 22 July 2014
Professor Anita Nolan
Professor of Oral Medicine and Head of the Oral Health Department, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences

Tuesday 26 August 2014
Professor Mike McGuigan
Professor of Strength Science, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences

Tuesday 23 September 2014
Professor Jane Gilbert
Professor of Education, Faculty of Culture and Society

Tuesday 21 October 2014
Professor Edwina Pio
Professor of Diversity, Faculty of Business and Law

Last updated: 24 Mar 2014 3:15pm

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